I got an email earlier this week from someone who “requested my presents if it wouldn’t be to much trouble”. This made me laugh, but at the same time, my prevailing reaction was to cringe.
William B. Bradshaw, author of The Big Ten of Grammar: Identifying and Fixing the Ten Most Frequent Grammatical Errors, says, “Grammar, regardless of the country or the language, is the foundation for communication – the better the grammar, the clearer the message, the more likelihood of understanding the message’s intent and meaning. That is what communication is all about.”
All those great lessons we learnt about spelling and grammar and the English language back in the day were long and painstaking. We had all kinds of things to remember; let’s face it, English has its share of rules and exceptions. We put in a lot of effort to learn proper grammar and some of it (or a lot of it) has slipped away.
Why is it so difficult to use correct spelling and grammar? I know that the popular vote says that social media is largely to blame, with abbreviations playing a large role. But, if we knew how to better punctuate, spell, and write an accurate sentence, there would be less of a stigma around digital conversations because we would be less afraid of being misconstrued.
One of my favourite books is Lynne Truss’ bestselling novel Eats, Shoots & Leaves which is a witty and impassioned commentary of how grammar is hugely important. I highly recommend it. This might proclaim me as a geek, but I’m comfortable with that.
I’m far from perfect; I make my fair share of mistakes. Trying to be professional (whether you are looking for a job or want to look smart in the one you have), taking a few extra minutes to make sure that you produce an accurate email (document or whatever it may be) says something about you. Taking a few extra minutes to do this is probably a wise decision. Appearing intelligent and articulate is a good thing.
PS: I hope I haven’t made too many mistakes in this post (or any other one)!